Posted , by Keith Curtis. Topic: Philanthropy Research & Events.

Over the last week,  two new reports about fundraising point toward the light at the end of the economic tunnel.

In GuideStar’s annual Nonprofit Economic Survey, half of their respondents saw contributions decline over the first nine months of 2009, compared to the same period in 2008. No surprise there. But nearly two-thirds were hopeful about 2010, either planning budget increases or expecting to maintain their current level of expenditures.

The survey also reported an overall decrease in state and local funding—also no surprise, confirming our guidance this year that nonprofits should start relying more on charitable giving. This brings us to a study by our Giving Institute colleagues Marts & Lundy, which found that as equity markets are showing signs of recovery, so too are capital gifts. But the report adds that “the full recovery process will mostly likely take a few years.”

Even so, donor cultivation should continue through this recovery period, says Dr. Patrick Rooney, director of Indiana University’s Center on Philanthropy. “You don’t want to go away because if you forget about your donors now, they may forget about you later,” Rooney said in an interview for our winter newsletter.

So this week our question is, what have you done differently during this economic downturn that has helped your fundraising? We’d love to hear your story below.

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